The next game has more riding on it for Delhi Dynamos FC than it does for Atletico De Kolkata. The reason for this is that this is Delhi Dynamos FC’s last home game in the league.
After this, they travel to Kerala and then to Chennai. Both are difficult games for different reasons. Kerala Blasters FC have exceptional home support while Chennaiyin FC are playing the best football in the league.
For Atletico De Kolkata, one point would be acceptable because they’re playing away, have a decent points tally, and still have Mumbai City FC to play. However, even Delhi Dynamos FC wouldn’t complain if they got just one point from this game.
One point for Atletico De Kolkata ensures that they will hold the 3rd spot while one point for Delhi Dynamos FC means that they remain within touching distance of the knockout positions while having seen off a particularly dangerous opponent.
How Atletico De Kolkata Arrived Where They Are
While it’s true that Atletico De Kolkata haven’t been playing all that badly, it still seems like they’ve been standing still while the rest of the world is passing them by. They were overtaken by Chennaiyin FC and lost their 2nd place to FC Goa last night.
In fact, they’re lucky that they’re not farther down the table than they are. Kerala Blasters FC and FC Pune City also had a chance to overtake them in the last couple of weeks.
They form is indifferent at best. They’ve won only one game in their last 7 games. They’ve taken only 7 points from the last 21 available to them. This isn’t a sign of a team doing well.
In fact, it’s a sign of a team struggling to keep up. The only reason why Atletico De Kolkata are where they are on the table is that they did well in the early parts of the season.
Delhi Dynamos FC To Continue Their Swashbuckling Ways?
The way this match will pan out isn’t clear because it depends on how the head coaches view their current respective situations and upcoming matches.
Even the pre-match press conferences don’t reveal that much. Both head coaches were careful about what they said so that they don’t let out any information for their counterpart to benefit from.
Harm Van Veldhoven did hint that his team needs 3 points in his press conference. He said,
We are playing better and better every game. As there are only three games left before the semifinals, we have to win and obtain the vital three points. We are currently two points behind the number four spot, where we would like to be.
Since they’ve been playing well, Van Veldhoven may try to continue that trend by setting out to win the game. However, since he also specified the injuries he has to cope with, he could go the other way round too. Regarding injuries, he explained,
Pavel Eliáš needs an operation on his shoulder and Wim Raymaekers is out for a few weeks. Further, we have a few problems with Robert Lalthlamuana and Bruno Herrero Arias who might not be able to play tomorrow.
Atletico De Kolkata To Continue Their Tactical & Measured Ways?
The head coach of Atletico De Kolkata, Habas the Henchman also gave mixed signals in his pre-match press conference. On the one end he said,
This is an important game for us and we will try to get the three points.
On the other hand, he said that his team will continue to play the way they’ve been playing i.e. less number of chances yielding a few goals while keeping defence tight. He said,
In spite of the lowest shots on goals, we rank second on the total number of goals scored in the league. Our job is to attack as well as defend. The chances we create, we score goals from those, and that’s what is important. We have the best team in this league to score goals.
As you can see, there’s no clear sign as to how the two teams will play.
My instincts tell me this one may be a slow burner with maybe one or two flashes of brilliance from players like Gustavo Dos Santos and Luis Garcia – one a wonderkid, the other a veteran schemer.
I expect Atletico De Kolkata to try to be solid while trying to build attacks slowly when possession comes their way and Delhi Dynamos FC to be all hustle and bustle.